Counting Down til Christmas- Creating a Family Advent Calendar Tradition

Growing up, you really think that being a kid on Christmas, is the best thing EVER! And it is…But the joy you get watching your own kids on Christmas is beyond anything you could ever have imagined.

You bring some of the things you enjoyed from your own upbringing into your annual Christmas rituals, along with your partner’s family traditions as well, and somewhere in between all of that, you start to form your own traditions as well.

Image: DIY Homer

Something we have really enjoyed doing as a family is creating a family activity advent calendar. Not only does it provide ideas of seasonal activities, but it also helps young ones pace themselves throughout the silly season. I don’t know about you, but my kids, particularly Miss 4, always wants to know what is next, what is happening tomorrow etc…. As a parent I have learnt the hard way that if you say you are going to do something, you better be intending to really do it, because your kids will not let you forget it!

Image: The Painted Hive

The Christmas advent calendar is a novel way to limit activities to one a day, and the beauty of being the adult in the house, means that you can rifle through the activity options the night before and swap them to something you are up for!

Creating your own Christmas activity advent calendar is easy, and it can be customised to suit your own family’s preferences and interests. Don’t go to church? No problem, leave anything out with a religious significance. Don’t like craft? No problem, think about more physical activities you can do.

Image: Irish Mirror

advent-4Some of the activities you may wish to consider including are;

  1. Decorate your Christmas Tree
  2. Write and post your Christmas cards
  3. Watch your favourite Christmas movies together. Let each family member choose one for a weekend movie marathon!
  4. Sing Christmas carols- find your local carol night, pack a picnic and make it an evening of fun with friends
  5. Read a Christmas story together
  6. Attend a Christmas Church service
  7. Choose a Christmas present for the less fortunate
  8. Make a donation to your preferred charity
  9. Make a handmade decoration for the tree
  10. Make Christmas wrapping paper
  11. Help choose and wrap up presents for special friends
  12. Bake gingerbread cookies, or if you are feeling particularly ambitious, bake pieces to construct a gingerbread house!
  13. Do Christmas themed craft- paint paper plates into giant Christmas baubles, or make your own bonbons

    Image: Taste
  14. Bake Christmas shortbread
  15. Write a letter to Santa
  16. Make a garland, table arrangement or Christmas wreath with fresh flowers and foliage
  17. Visit Santa- and if you are feeling brave, have a picture with him! If your family includes pets, try a pet Santa or check out the outdoor beach Santa displays for something truly Australian! Santa in BOARDSHORTS!!!
  18. Take a trip into the City to see the Christmas displays
  19. Visit the neighbourhood houses decorated with lights
  20. Catch up with friends for a Christmas get together or party
  21. Help mummy choose a special present for daddy
  22. Help daddy choose a special present for mummy

    Image: My Merry Christmas
  23. Wear Santa hats/reindeer ears and other Christmas themed fancy-dress
  24. Open one present together. Leave a plate of snacks for Santa and his reindeer.
  25. Have an indoor picnic around the Christmas tree
  26. Order fresh flower gifts, hampers and living plants- click here if you need some help!
  27. Have a BBQ dinner outdoors, enjoying the summer balmy weather and extended daylight
  28. Donate food items to the Salvation army or other charity
  29. Volunteer at the soup kitchen
  30. Listen to a Christmas CD- who does the ultimate Christmas album? Mariah for the WIN!!! Or maybe Michael Buble!!??
  31. Take a family trip to the farmer’s market to choose fresh flowers, fruits and vegetables.
Image: Not on the High Street

Certainly if you are handy with a sewing machine, a needle and thread you can get busy and create your own fabric calendar to fill, but if not there are many crafters out there who are creating unique pieces for you to purchase.

For some an advent calendar full of activities will be too hard to juggle with full time work and other commitments, so you can also alternate the pocket fillings with candy, chocolate or decorations that can be added to the tree throughout the month.

Fwf x


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